Latest News

  • Courtney LeVinus

Call to Action: SB1318

Call to Action…Easy as 1, 2 ,3 SB1318 – SCHOOLS; DYSLEXIA SCREENING; TRAINING

(1) Act Now – Contact the Arizona Senate Education Committee Members listed below. Urge their support of SB1318 in committee.

Senator Sylvia Allen – Education Committee Chair - (602) 926-5409 or Senator Paul Boyer – Education Committee Vice Chair – (602) 926-4173 or* Senator Kate Brophy McGee – (602) 926-4486 or Senator Andrea Dalessandro – (602) 926-5342 or Senator Sally Ann Gonzales - (602) 926-3278 or Senator Rick Gray - (602) 926-5413 or Senator Tyler Pace - (602) 926-5760 or Senator Martin Quezada - (602) 926-5911or

* Senator Paul Boyer is the bill sponsor and is already supporting the bill. When you contact him please thank him for introducing the bill and supporting our children who are struggling with dyslexia.

(2) Contact your State Senator(note we will contract State Representatives once the bill passes the Senate – only contact your Senator for now). If you do not know your State Senator or Legislative District CLICK HEREand enter your address in the yellow line to locate your state legislative district. Once you have identified your legislative district or if you already know your legislative district CLICK HEREto find your State Senator.

(3) Plan to attend and testify or show your support of SB1318 in the Senate Education Committee. We will let you know the exact date and time of the hearing. The Senate Education Committee typically meets on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm. Where your #SayDyslexia T-Shirt – click here to order.

SB1318Includes the following provisions:

· AZ Department of Education to designate a dyslexia specialist to work with school districts

· AZ Department to provide a list of educational opportunities related to dyslexia (including one on-line).

o Training must:

§ Comply with the knowledge and practice standards of an international organization on dyslexia that is designated by the department of education

§ Enable the teacher to understand and recognize dyslexia

§ Enable the teacher to implement instruction that is systematic explicit and evidence-based to meet the educational needs of students with dyslexia.

· The AZ Department of Education shall develop a dyslexia plan that includes:

o Screening for risk factors of dyslexia (note this screening not a medical diagnosis – they can be done quickly and for very little expense and could be done at the same time students are screened for hearing and vision)

o Guidance for notifications to parents if a student is identified as being at risk for diagnosis

o Create the plan in coordination with dyslexia stakeholders

· Screening tests shall be cost-effective and include:

o Phonological awareness

o Rapid naming skills

o The correspondence between sound and letters

o A family history of difficulty in learning to read

When talking or emailing a legislator:

· Always be respectful and non-threatening (you get more with honey)

· If you live in their district let them know. An email from a resident that votes in their district has a bigger impact.

· Tell your story – our students are struggling. Let them know why their yes vote is important

· Let them know they can contact you for more information

Talking Points on SB1318

· SB1318 is partnered after legislation passed in Oregon in 2015

· At least 20 States have dyslexia screening requirements including (Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming). It is time for Arizona to do the same.

· 1 in 5 people have dyslexia or a reading related disability (approximately _____ students in Arizona) according the National Institutes of Health

· Screening for risk factors for dyslexia is required not a medical diagnosis

· Screenings can be completed in 5 minutes

· Screenings can cost between $0 and $50

· Dyslexia screening can be completed when students have their vision and hearing screening

· Dyslexia can be identified by age 5 ½ with 92% accuracy (National Institutes of Health)

· 95% of dyslexic students will read proficiently at grade level if they receive the right kind of instruction by 1stgrade (National Institutes of Health)

· If dyslexia intervention is delayed until 4thgrade it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount (Susan Hall – Straight Talk About Reading)

· 44% of third graders in Arizona are proficient or highly proficient, 56% are minimally or partially proficient in language arts (2018 AzMerit)…Dyslexia is the link that is being ignored

· 75% of students that are poor readers in 3rdgrade will remain poor readers in 9thgrade (Sally Shaywitz et all 1998)

· Poor reading skills are the leading cause of High School drop outs (US Department of Education)

· 80% of inmates in a Huntsville, Texas, State Prison were functionally illiterate, and 48% were dyslexic (University of Texas Medical Brach at Galveston – 2000)

· Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, severe or profound, there is no connection to IQ

· Dyslexia is genetic


We Need Your Support!

AZ Literacy Coalition

Would you like to become a partner or get involved? Let us know!

© 2019 Laura Ann Busby